I am a 35 year old mother with two children aged 3 and 6 years old. I am currently working here at Toronto, Canada for almost five years as a part-time caregiver and as a part-time kitchen staff in a small restaurant near my apartment. I left the Philippines because I thought life here in Canada is better as compared to the Philippines. I left my managerial position in one of the largest bank in the Philippines and I also left my two children to my husband. Before I got married, I graduated as Cum Laude in one of the exclusive university in Manila. My boyfriend, now my husband was a restaurant owner of one of the coffee shop near our school. After I graduated from college, I easily got a job and my career was very successful. I got married to my boyfriend, then we had two wonderful daughters and our life was wonderful. Not until my husband's coffee shop went bankrupt. He lost his business and he was having difficulty establishing new ventures and it always fail. Our savings were wiped out because of his unsuccessful attempts to establish new business. He got depressed and he was very insecure with me because that time I was the one providing for the family. We always fight about our finances. He once accepted a full-time job as a sales manager but he quit after a few months because he is not used to working as an employee, he always insists that he wants to be an business owner. My salary can no longer support my family so I started looking for options. This is the reason why I end up here in Canada. I sacrificed my respectable position in the Philippines so I can work here in Canada as a caregiver during the day and I wash dishes in the evening. I feel so degraded, this is not the life I dreamed of. I have lost my pride, my dignity, and my confidence. I hate myself and my life for being in this situation. I don't know what to do with my life anymore.
Here is our response.
Don't hate yourself or your life. All these challenges that you are currently experiencing are just temporary. These challenges are meant to make you stronger and wiser person so don't give up on yourself. Looking at your story, you have indeed accomplished so much! You finished college as an honor student, you had a great career, you are a wonderful mother and an understanding wife. And your greatest accomplishment was when you sacrificed all these blessings and chose a less prestigious job and a lonely life in Canada. You should consider that as an accomplishment because not many people can handle that. Don't look at your situation as a "demotion" of your social status. Instead, be proud that you are a selfless person in this selfish world. Always put in your head that every time you are doing all these care-giving and dishwashing, you are getting closer to making the lives of your family in the Philippines better.
You are hurting because your situation took toll on your pride. This is the reason why you feel lowly of current job and this is the reason why you have lost confidence on yourself. Maybe at the back of your mind you are saying that a magna cum laude should be a high ranking officer of a big company and not a dishwasher by night. We totally understand that, that is human nature.
Always remember this: Jesus, the son of God went in this world not to assert His Name as Son of God. Instead, He served the needy and He cured the sick. He was selfless that's why He gave His own life so that sinners like us can be saved. If the Son of God who is higher than all of us managed to set aside His pride so He can save us, who are we to complain if our pride will be tested in some part of our lives?
Be grateful with what you have. Don't hate your life, live it and love it!
Dear Onelife Networx,
I am a business owner of a fast-food restaurant in Manila. I have seven employees. We've been operating the restaurant for almost ten years already. However, profit is not so promising. In fact, most of the income I generate from the restaurant is not enough to support my family. This is also the reason why I am still keeping my regular job. I am also working as a branch manager of a medium sized bank. I am not really involved in the operations of my restaurant. But as an owner, I am not immune to the day to day problems of the business. And honestly, It sometimes affect my performance in my day job. Though I only visit the restaurant after my work since I leave the management of my restaurant to our Executive Chef. But sometimes, I still need to check on the restaurant during my office hours.
My wife once told me to sell the restaurant while it's still in the black. Though profit is already becoming thin and we have to drop our mark-up because of competition. Lately, I realize that my business is no longer serving its purpose. I realized that I can survive financially without it as long as I keep my employment in the bank. However, I feel guilty because all of my employees are happy working in this restaurant. In fact, all of the current seven employees of the restaurant are the original employees when we started the business. Hoping for your advice.
What is your life's purpose? To help others or to become rich? If your goal is just to earn money and become rich, I suggest you sell your restaurant. Besides, what's the point of having a business if this will not give you reasonable profit at the end of the day. A business, as defined by society, must generate profit for it to be considered successful. Let me ask you Mr. Jonathan, is this also your way measuring the success of your business? If yes, dispose your business as soon as possible. But if you are not a profit-centered person and if you believe that your business is an instrument in helping others thru the employment opportunities your restaurant is offering society, then keeping your restaurant is the best option. However, if you plan to keep the business, try to involve your employees in keeping this restaurant financially healthy. They are part of the business, your employees should not just be loyal, but they must also be productive and must contribute something to the success of the restaurant. Remember, you hired your employees to help you in your business. If your employees are not helping you, maybe its time to let them go. Helping your employees should be one of your priority as a business owner. However, some employees are abusive, lazy, and have no concern in the survival and success of your business. Most of these employees are just after their pay check and benefits they can reap from the company. If your employees have these symptoms, these employees do not deserve your generosity.